Flights to Australia from the United States are long and expensive, which is exactly why the Northern Territory Tourism board is trying to lure visitors with the prospect of free flights. The reasoning goes that if travelers are already making the long trek to the far-flung continent, they might as well see as much of it as possible.
In conjunction with Qantas Airlines, Australia is doing what it can to bring more Americans, via a free one-way flight, to the Australian Outback.
The program has been dubbed ‘Fly Free to the Outback,’ but you’ll have to already be inside of Australia’s borders in order to take advantage of the flight. You can choose to start in either Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane, and choose from Darwin, Uluru, or Alice Springs as your destination. The only other requirement is that you book a two-night stay with one of the qualified providers.
The two-night minimum is far from your biggest problem, as you’ll want to spend plenty of time exploring the incredible wilderness contained within the Outback. Ayers Rock is one of the biggest landmarks that’s been created by nature, as it stands 1,142 feet above the ground below. Ayers Rock has also been a sight of spiritual pilgrimage for the indigenous population.
For the intrepid tourists who want to explore the land by foot, Nitmiluk National Park is the place to go for some of the best hiking the Outback has to offer. Far from being a dessert, you can traverse a portion of the jungle while in view of breathtaking gorges and awe-inspiring waterfalls.
Not only that, there’s plenty of Aboriginal paintings scattered throughout the cliffs within the parks. If you’re looking for more of a desert adventure, however, then Alice Springs is the place to go, especially if you want to ride a camel.
From Exercise to Meditation – 25 Ways to Get a Fresh Start in the Morning
Rise With the Sun
You know the saying, the early bird gets the worm, right? Well, it turns out it’s true! Early birds tend to procrastinate less than night owls. Many of the world’s most successful people throughout history have identified as early risers. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m. to go through e-mails before heading to the gym at 5 a.m. The early hours allow these businessmen and women to start each day with a fresh slate.
Break a Sweat
The University of Bristol published a study that found that individuals that exercise on a daily basis were more likely to have more energy and a more positive outlook on life in comparison to those who didn’t participate in a daily sweat session. Introducing exercise into your mornings can help you develop clarity that lasts all day. “Exercise leads to the secretion of neurotransmitters that promote mental clarity and an improved attention span,” explains exercise psychologist, Jasmin Theard.
Meditation is helpful at all hours of the day, but the practice is especially helpful when you incorporate it into your morning. It can help control anxiety and stress, encourage self-awareness and the ability to concentrate. Many of the world’s most successful people have incorporated the art of mindfulness into their mornings. They practice 20 to 30 minutes of meditation in the morning – deliberately doing so before checking their e-mail or touching any means of technology.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Keeping a bottle or glass of water on your nightstand so you can begin to hydrate even before you get out of bed is an important factor in getting the right start to your morning. Starting the day with water has many benefits. Drinking water in bed ensures you work towards meeting your daily hydration goal. In addition to that, staying hydrated throughout the day is a lot easier if you start your day with water. If you aren’t a big fan of water, you can squeeze in a little lemon to give it a twist. Water will not only prevent dehydration but will also fill you up, so you don’t overeat at breakfast.
Making the Bed
Starting the day is hard – getting out of bed is even harder. Making your bed directly after waking up in the morning not only helps with productivity throughout the day but will also help establish a healthy routine and will keep you from going back to sleep. One simple accomplishment, no matter how small, provides a starting place and will help you complete the goals you set out for that day. Psychologically, when we finish a task regardless, our brain creates endorphins that give us a feeling of accomplishment.
Gratitude Should Be a Goal
We mentioned Marie Kondo’s morning routines earlier. A part of these rituals is practicing appreciation. “I say a prayer of thanksgiving for my family and team members’ health, and I renew my resolve to do as much as I can that day,” she writes. Oprah Winfrey’s morning ritual also involves gratitude.
Stay in Bed for 10 Minutes Before Rising
When you wake, relax in bed for a few minutes to allow your body and mind to wake up gradually. Imagine exactly how you want your day to look – think about what you need to get done and how you plan on achieving those things. Give yourself a pep talk in the minutes before you rise. There are sleep tracking apps that can help you with this one. These apps can give you a ten-minute window before the time you wish to wake up, which will help you rise more peacefully.
Let the Sunshine In!
As you get out of bed, open your blinds and curtains to allow the sunshine in. This won’t just help you wake up, but it will help synchronize your sleep/wake cycle. Getting exposure to direct sunlight as early as possible, even walking outside for a few minutes after waking up, will help keep you awake and reduce your cravings to get back into bed.
Pick Your Outfit Out the Night Before
Determining what to wear the night before takes a step out of your morning routine and give you time to focus on more important things. Deciding what you are going to wear in advance means that there is one less thing to think about when you are rushing to get to work on time and managing your other morning rituals. Picking out an outfit or even a couple of options the night before will help you ease your way into the day, knowing that you have less to worry about.
Designated Spot for the Essentials
Make every mini success mean something. No one wants to spend time looking for their wallet, keys, or phone when time is crucial. Have a designated spot, preferably near the front door, for all the things you need for your day. You may invest in purchasing a table or even a simple tray for your keys. This will help you keep your thoughts organized and your mind at ease.
Breaking news! Opening your mornings with breakfast may not be as important as you’ve been taught all these years. Today we understand that intermittent fasting has many benefits. It is more important to time your nutrient intake throughout the day rather than focusing on breakfast. There is a 16/8 hour rule where there is an 8-hour period in which you eat. Let’s say your first meal is at 9 A.M – your last meal should be no later than 5 P.M. Intermittent fasting in this manner has been shown to increase your metabolism and improve fat loss.
Breaking the Fast
Choose healthy, protein-filled food with fiber for your first meal. This means non-fat yogurt, nuts, oats, eggs. Fiber and protein fiber will keep you full for a longer amount of time. Slow carbs will give you the energy you need to start your day off right and fuel your daily activities. Try eating fewer carbs towards the end of the day, towards the hours you don’t need sustained energy as much.
Make a Breakfast Date
A nice way to reconnect with your partner is in the morning. Talk about your plans, your family, and your hobbies – this is a way to always be present in each other’s lives. If your schedules don’t allow this to happen regularly, set up one day a week as a “breakfast date” morning. Even if it’s on the weekend, go to the nearest cafe for breakfast or even take a walk around the neighborhood.
Commit to a Ritual
Make the things you do in the morning a ritual that marks the start of a new day and a fresh start. Whatever it is that makes the day yours – do it. Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has her ritual as well. “When I get up, I open all the windows to let fresh air in and then burn incense,” she wrote on her blog. “I strive to keep my home comfortable and filled with clear energy throughout the day, so starting my morning with these rituals keeps me on track.”
The Kids Are Alright
If you have children, this one’s for you. The morning is usually the time we have less on our mind and less stress in our system. It makes for the perfect time to spend time with your kids. Help them get dressed, cook a healthy, hearty breakfast, and talk to them about their hopes and dreams. Work often gets in the way of family – but it doesn’t have to. Spending that extra half of an hour each morning with your kids may help with this.
Mapping Out the Day
Taking a few minutes of your time to map out the direction of your day will help you figure out if you’re headed towards the right direction. Take at least 10 minutes of your morning to visualize your life goals and review your tasks for the day. It will also give you time to plan breaks throughout the day. This will help your day become less stressful and more manageable.
Don’t Hit Snooze
When you hit the snooze button in the morning, you are subconsciously sending yourself a message. When you hit the snooze button, the message is, “a few more minutes of extra sleep is more important than my mission today.” On the other hand, when getting up and starting your day as soon as your alarm goes off, the message is, “it’s time to work on my mission because it is important.” The way you start your morning is crucial – it will make or break the motivation and energy for that day.
Leave your Phone Alone
Putting your phone two full arm’s lengths away from you or even in a different room will help cut off all temptations and distractions that might pull you away from your morning rituals. Studies have shown that you cannot multitask. What we perceive as multitasking is just a shallow focus on many different tasks for a few seconds or minutes at a time. Every time you switch focus points, it takes time for your mind to refocus.
There are several other reasons to stop grabbing your phone first thing in the morning. The first is the negative repercussions from the blue light your phone emits. Most don’t know this, but blue light is much less natural than sunlight – it confuses your body clock. It can even disturb sleeping habits and hormones. The second issue with grabbing your phone is getting yourself into the wrong mental state. Instead of starting your day with the positive intention, you immediately switch into defense mode. The notifications will draw you into reacting to other people’s lives and not focusing on your own.
Start Planning Your Morning the Night Before
Refraining from checking your phone in the morning is a good start. But, if you want to start your morning off right, looking at your phone shouldn’t be the last thing you do before you go to sleep. You should not go to bed scrolling through social media since that will fill your mind with distractions. Putting your phone aside will help you sleep better and subsequently wake up with more energy to dominate your day.
Take a Cold Shower
We know, taking a cold shower may not seem like the most appealing morning hack, but its proven benefits make it worth trying at least once. Showering with cold or cool water improves the circulation of the blood and can promote muscle recovery. Cold showers also have psychological benefits, such as increasing alertness and lowering stress levels. It’s a hard transition to make, so make it gradually – you might even surprise yourself.
It’s no secret that starting your morning with a good cup of coffee will give you the energy to start your day and improve your mood. If you haven’t heard about Bulletproof coffee – you’re in luck because we are about to change your world. It is made by blending coffee, unsalted butter, and MCT oil. You get all of the benefits of black coffee and grass-fed butter, without the excess sugars from creamers and sweeteners. This coffee was made to help your brain think faster and more efficiently and increase clarity.
Spice it Up
Starting your day with spices might seem a little odd, but we promise, it is very beneficial. Three of the most beneficial spices are cinnamon, oregano, and thyme. One tablespoon of cinnamon has almost 70% of the required daily value of magnesium. Thyme helps brain function and improves memory, something we can all use especially in the early morning. Spices can help overall wellness, so even if you miss your morning dose, try incorporating them into your day anyways.
Do One Thing that Excites You
Do something every morning that excites you. Pick an activity, a book, or something that prepares you for your day. The attitude you start your day with may be the most crucial piece of your morning routine. Try doing one thing every morning that gets you emotionally, spiritually, and energetically ready for the day. Making this a priority in your morning routine will ensure that you notice the difference in your mood throughout the whole day.
Asking the Most Important Question
Open your morning with one important question. For example, “If today was the last day of your life, would you still want to do what you’re about to do today?” Hard-hitting questions like this should help you evaluate where you are and where you should be. If the times you answer that question is “no” more than once a week, it’s about time to get out there and change something! The power is in your hands.